KARACHI: Shehzad Anwar’s Brazilian connections are working again.
The recently-appointed Pakistan men’s team head coach has overseen the appointment of Rodrigo Esteves dos Santos, with whom he worked during his stint at Brazilian second-division club FC SKA earlier this year, as the side’s physical trainer.
Dos Santos’ appointment was announced by the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee on Thursday and it is a throwback to 2018, when Shehzad — in his position as PFF technical director — appointed an all-Brazilian coaching team for the national side.
Then, Jose Antonio Nogueira had been named as the head coach while Beto Portella was the trainer. Shehzad had worked with both of them during his time in Brazil while completing his AFC Pro-Licence coaching certification.
Beto was later named head coach of the Pakistan youth side and led them to a runner-up finish at the 2018 SAFF Under-15 Championship. It was immediately unclear whether Dos Santos will be handed a similar role with the junior side.
Since the 15-month suspension on Pakistan was lifted by FIFA in June, the PFF NC — appointed by the game’s global governing body in September 2019 due to a long-running institutional crisis in the country’s football federation — has been working to revive the national teams.
The women’s side is currently in Nepal to take part in the SAFF Women’s Championship — their first international assignment in eight years. The men’s side, which last played in June 2019, is due to take part in the first stage of the joint-qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2027 AFC Asian Cup in October next year.
Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2022